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Question:

Formulate a critical response to the Guest (2011) article, addressing how HR professionals might measure the effectiveness of their own efforts and how they might test ideas about HRM practice in their own contexts.

Answer:

Human resource management or human capital management deals with management of the employees working in an organization. It has been quoted for a long time that human resource practices can improve the performance of the organization, but the how and why of it was not answer. The paper by Guest tries to understand the analysis done to find what studies has been done to measure the effectiveness of the HRM practices (Guest, 2011). He claims that the studies about the attitudes begin in 1980s when the concept of internal fit was introduced in the field of Human resource. This was then followed by the development of statistical analysis of the surveys by the use of expectancy theory, resource-based firm view, and the capital view of the human resource obtained which were further criticized for the lack of conceptual framework. The focus then shifted to workers whose perception was then introduced to understand the perception of the practices. Final and the current phase include the sophistication of the concept. The following are the major practices which have been utilized in the current times for the measurement of the human resource performance:

i) Social Psychology: The social psychology has been used with the measurement of HRM practices. As the author argues, the statistical analysis is not solely the answer, but the answer also lies in the perception of the workers. Five HR typology has been proposed for the development of the social psychology. The paper also proposes that there is an element of variability in the organization and this element should be taken into account for the measurement of the performance of the employees (Nishii, Lepak, & Schneider, 2008).

ii) Multilevel statistical analysis: Bowen and Ostroff suggested a use of multilevel statistical analysis which will help in analyzing the context of the organization along with the performance of employees as the context of the organization varies and is an important factor in deciding the relation between the performance of the employees and HRM practices (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004).

iii) Linking workers’ values with the perception of the HRM: Another factor is that the priorities of the workers vary as per their situations including the age, values and motives. This is reflected in the way they perceive the different practices of HRM, and how these practices influence the performance of the company (Guest, 2011).

 

Need for the development of different practices of HR as per organizations

The practices of HR shall be decided as per the organizational culture as the workers, the structure of the internal market, and how the labors respond to the internal market varies as per the organization. Thus HRM practices cannot be used as “one size fits all”. Standard HR policies and practices are not applicable for all, and they need to be altered as per the organization. 

Examples of HRM measurement practices

Different methods that have been used in the organizations are the use of HRM practices balanced scorecard in which workforce scorecard is used to measure the skill, mindsets, behavior and results are analyzed (Malo, Huselid, Becker, & Beatty, 2005). Another organization utilized the use of surveys for the measurement of the effectiveness of the HRM practices. 

Conclusion

The structure of the HRM performance measurement is still being developed, and different organizations have different methods as per their culture. The method and context varies as per the organization, which is only right. But a strong framework for evaluation of HRM practices is needed for successful evaluation.

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